Lost Luggage: Musician Forgets Million-Dollar Violin on Train

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A Christie's employee holds a Stradivari violin at Christie's auction rooms in central London, February 23, 2007. The 1729 instrument known as 'Solomon, Ex-Lambert' will be auctioned in April and is expected to sell for up to U.S $ 1.5 million (£766,000). REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN)

A $1.4 million antique violin isn’t something you want to accidentally forget on a train.  But that’s just what happened to a panicked German musician on Friday night.

After returning home to Munich from a chamber music tour in Asia, he got off at his stop without his most prized possession. Desperate, he informed the manager of his Munich music quartet, who immediately alerted the German Federal Police. An “immediate search,” brought triumph after a railway official found it on the train and put it in custody. A little later, the 45 year old musician was reunited with the precious 1748 Italian fiddle, which led him experience a panic attack and seek medical attention.  “He needed treatment from a doctor but it was nothing dramatic. He was just a bit nervous because he thought he had lost it,” said a police spokesman.

(See the Top 10 Most Expensive Auction Items)

This isn’t the first time a violin has been forgotten. Two and a half years ago the violinist Philippe Quint left his $3.4 million Stradivari in a taxi, a musician of the Oslo Symphony Orchestra also forgot his instrument during a visit to Salzburg on a snack stand, and a student left his expensive violin at a bus stop in Dortmund. All three were given back their instruments – but not all finders are honest. The violinist from Norway almost had to pay ransom money for the return, the finder of the Dortmund violin tried to flog it in a pawnshop. Only the New York taxi driver was honest.

But it is music to NewsFeed’s ears to hear the artist is back in Asia playing in his quartet on his prized instrument.

(Read String Theory: Investing in High-End Violins)

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